The monumental group of works, Floating States, undoubtedly marks the latest pinnacle in the oeuvre of Ulysses Belz (*1958). In these, Belz explores the phenomenon of reality pluralism in the conflict area of cognition and factual reality. Yet the Floating States open up nothing less than a completely new world to the viewer, a world characterized by the view of exactly those processes that precede one’s own recognition and perception. The esthetics, that gradually unfold like this in these works, are unique – overwhelming, monumental and yet, at the same time, of seemingly poetic delicacy and mysteriousness. Macrocosm and microcosm, outside and inside world merge in them, and the processes of perception and recognition become a pictorial event, indeed the actual subject of the pictures.
In translation, Floating States means not only continuously changing countries or conditions, but stands especially for Floating [Mind]States – in other words, ceaselessly new-forming mental states. Floating, on the other hand, also plays on floaters: transparent particles suspended in the vitreous substance of the eye that constantly dance up and down in our field of vision. Everybody has them and they normally accompany and influence our perception all our lives.
The Floating States are therefore “images” of those mental processes and entoptic phenomena that determine our “reality” construct. Belz is treading a radically new path in art, which makes the intentional look, i.e. the look from within the individual, the starting point of a new objectivity that visualizes one’s own cognition and reality as an ongoing, individually shaped, constructive process. The retina, or, to be more exact, the place where the optic nerve ends, at which we are – significantly – completely blind, advances to a physical border at which factual and construed world enter their visual synthesis.
The French philosopher Joëlle Proust calls this new form of painting “revolutionary thinking-in-painting”; Ulysses Belz himself names it metacognitive painting. Beyond abstraction and figuration, it has at its command its own, new vocabulary of form, to a large extent characterized by open schemata, intimations and indeterminable structures and spatial structures. It is liberated painting, which no longer seeks dialog in the sense of interpretation, but solely reflects with esthetic means the process behind one’s own cognition. With Floating States, we are extraordinarily pleased to be able to present the latest group of works by Ulysses Belz at HELDENREIZER in contrasting juxtaposition to Lotion (see figures below). This likewise metacognitive work was created shortly before Floating States and is a direct response by the artist to the rekindled separatist endeavors in northeastern Spain. Although at first sight very different, the painting shares one of the key questions in all Ulysses Belz works: the question of reality[ies].
Preview takes place Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 6pm to 9.30pm, Westermühlstr. 3, Munich.